July/August 2010 Update

Monthly Email Update

July is the month known best for being the hot, dead-target center of summer, as well as the month that hosts Major League Baseball’s annual All-Star game.

How fitting that 60 Plus was very active in the month of July, swinging for the fences on behalf of America’s seniors, and capping the month off with an All-Star lineup of national conservative leaders, who gathered in Washington to honor the 50- plus years of service and leadership of our Chairman, Jim Martin.

In this issue:

  • 60 Plus Issues Update
  • Conservatives Honor 60 Plus Chairman Jim Martin
  • Opinion — Democrats Continue to Threaten Social Security
  • UK Moving Away from Socialized Medicine
  • AARP Profits Booming Under Obama

60 Plus Issues Update

Here are the latest updates from the front lines in Washington and across the country, where 60 Plus is fighting for seniors, and making a difference for our nation’s future.

Obama Appointee, “Kiss of Death to Seniors,” says 60 Plus Spokesman Pat Boone

With Congress conveniently out of town, President Obama made a recess appointment of Dr. Donald Berwick to head the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services over the objections of conservatives, and praise from liberals. Remember that name.

Berwick’s public comments on end-of-life care for seniors are cut from the same cloth of former Colorado Governor Richard Lamm, who famously made the comment that seniors had a “duty to die.” Yet amazingly Obama thought this man ideally suited to head policy on Medicare.

Said 60 Plus Spokesman, music legend, Pat Boone, “He’s a romantic about Britain’s National Health Service, I hear. Well, he’s the kiss of death for old folks. Unless he’s stopped.”

60 Plus Pushing Congressional Efforts to Repeal Obamacare

60 Plus Chairman Jim Martin has taken a position in support of Congressional conservatives to repeal the unconstitutional Democrat health care law, which requires Americans to purchase an “acceptable” form of health care, or face a tax penalty, as well as increased pressure and oversight from the IRS (now planning on hiring thousands of new agents to enforce this law).

While the first attempt to repeal this mandate — H.R. 5486, sponsored by ranking member Dave Camp (R-MI) — predictably failed last month in the Democrat-controlled Congress, – the fight is far from over. At stake are hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer savings as well as the basic freedom of choice for seniors and Americans everywhere to make their own health care decisions.

Obama’s “Senior Suckup” — Buying Support with $250 Checks

It may not be enough to grab the attention of a veteran Chicago politician like embattled Governor Rod Blagojevich, but President Obama employed the same general principle from his home city when announcing his intention to buy the support of seniors for his health care legislation by bribing them with a paltry $250 giveaway.

Thankfully, the President’s plan to placate seniors with $250 after pushing through cuts of over a half trillion dollars to Medicare has been far from convincing.

Senior citizen and 60 Plus member Tony DeBenedittis said it best on the Your World with Neil Cavuto show, “they’re nothing more than a good old-fashioned Chicago bribe.

Obama Deficit Increasing Almost $100,000 per second!

More than all the past emperors of China, or any European King or Queen, or jewel encrusted historical figure, it is our current President who has the distinction of being the BIGGEST spender in the history of the world.

Think about that; no person has spent more money at any place or time — anywhere. And the great benefit to him is, it’s not HIS money! Consider that in the next 90 seconds, the U.S. government will spend over $8.8 million, which is nearly $100,000 a second!

60 Plus has made the fight against the reckless and immoral spending of Obama and the Washington liberals central in its platform, and proudly supports a new coalition of conservative groups who have banded forces to form www.spendingrevolt.com,

60 Plus Seeks Protection for Seniors on Unapproved Drugs

60 Plus Chairman Jim Martin recently sent a letter to Janet Woodcock, Director of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) urging that the agency mandate manufacturers of unapproved drugs to seek FDA approval for their products.

Noting the deadly risks involved to America’s seniors when drugs get to market without stringent oversight to their safety, Martin said, “Unapproved drugs have never been tested for safety and efficacy by the FDA, whose drug approval process provides the only codified and critical evaluation measures to ensure the safety of consumers.”

Further, little information on these drugs are available for seniors and their doctors to fully understand the risks and benefits associated with each, leaving Americans in the dark about the medicine they are taking. “The filling of unapproved prescription drugs subjects consumers to unnecessary and potentially deadly risks,” said Martin.

For more information on this project, click here, or check out our new project website, KeepSeniorsSafe.com.

Jim Martin Salute Dinner — 60 Plus Chairman Honored

There may not have been much dancing, but there were certainly plenty of stars in attendance at the standing room only dinner honoring 60 Plus Chairman Jim Martin’s 50 years of political activism on behalf of the conservative movement and America’s seniors.

Either in person or through video messages, national conservative luminaries gave tribute to the man who coined the term “the death tax” and spoke their admiration and affection for Jim’s loyalty and commitment to the people working to make a difference on behalf of our shared conservative principles.

Among those giving tribute at the July 15 event at the Liaison Hotel in Washington, DC were President George W. Bush (who years ago called Jim “boss”), RNC Chairman Michael Steele, Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (KY), House GOP Leader John Boehner (OH), Congressmen Joe Wilson (R-SC) and Paul Broun (R-GA), Dinner Co-Chairs Hector Alcalde and Charlie Black, Emcee Colin Hanna, Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist and many others.

Said the former President, “I gave him the nickname Buddha, because he gave me such wise counsel, and because he had a wider girth than he now does,” referring to Jim’s former physique.

Congratulations again to Jim, for all he has accomplished in his life and for serving as a strong and reliable voice for conservatives and seniors over his long and diverse career, and for achieving this while raising seven children, who have since blessed him with 15 grandchildren.

Thank you Jim for giving us the best 50 years of your life, we know your work is far from over! For photos of the event, click here.

Democrat Scare Tactics Keep Social Security in Peril

Opinion by Jim Martin

In the classic football-themed movie The Longest Yard, quarterback Burt Reynolds knocks an opposing defender loopy by hurling a tight spiral directly into a part of the defender’s anatomy that is — to put it delicately — below the belt.

Looking to knock the opponent out of the game for good, he tells his team back in the huddle, “it worked once, it should work again,” and then proceeds to prove himself right. To anyone who has followed politics and especially the political football of Social Security as I have for well over four decades, this scenario seems awfully familiar to what we see in Washington every time Democrats see their poll numbers drop.

Scaring seniors with below the belt hits on Republicans has become THE signature play from their playbook. President Obama was more than happy to run “the Play” recently while giving a speech in Racine, Wisconsin, attacking and mischaracterizing comments made by Minority Leader, Congressman John Boehner (R-OH).

Boehner made the observation that Obama’s proposed package of legislation for the economy was misguided, and also suggested, as have many others in both parties, that we try to save Social Security — currently heading in a direction that will make the Titanic look like a pleasure cruise — by raising the retirement age of younger workers a few years to compensate for the great increase in life expectancy that has occurred since the program was created in 1935.

Hearing the words “Social Security” from the mouth of a GOP leader set off the Democrats’ pavlovian reflex, trotting out “the Play” and falsely accusing Boehner of trying to harm seniors.

It must be nice for Obama, the leader of the free world, to have solved every problem facing America and thus have the luxury to use his public appearances to attack a minority party which currently has no control over the nation’s legislative agenda.

Or maybe — absent any ideas or leadership for the economic, international and environmental crises now facing the nation — it was just much easier to run “the Play” attacking Republicans, no matter that Social Security remains a program in deep, deep jeopardy.

The facts are clear; starting with the beginning of the Baby Boomers retiring in 2008, the program will become strained beyond its limits as tens of millions of workers leave the Social Security payroll taxes, and tens of millions more retirees begin to receive benefits.

While no one wants to return to the days where the retirement age is higher than the average life expectancy, it is just not possible for Social Security to stay solvent as people who live to the age of 65 now survive 20 years longer than they did when the law was created. Something is going to give, and if nothing is done, it will be America’s seniors who will ultimately pay the price.

It is amazing the extent to which some people can politicize simple math. If a family were taking a summer vacation by driving cross-country as opposed to their traditional trip to the local campground, no one would argue that their gas tank would require more fuel.

Well, the journey to retirement for millions has been extended, and it is certainly a GOOD thing that people are living longer. But it remains a cruel joke to America’s seniors that one political party maintains the canard that the same journey can be made without adjustments to the amount of fuel needed in the tank.

Social Security and Medicare are both deeply in jeopardy and this ought to concern all politicians, regardless of party. Speaking of “jeopardy” – imagine the quiz show of the same name, and consider how you might answer this question if posed by host Alex Trebek (and remember to answer in the form of a question):

“He said that, ‘My party, the Democratic Party, has been riding the twin horses of hypocrisy – Social Security and Medicare – for over 30 years.'”

If you answered, “who is former Massachusetts Democrat Senator Paul Tsongas” then you may just be crowned champion! Tsongas is one of the few Democrats who had the courage to take his own party to task for using “the Play” to scare seniors on Social Security and Medicare, the other being the late Senator from New York, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who likewise echoed the common sense ideas voiced by Boehner to help keep Social Security solvent for future seniors.

Tsongas publicly quipped he was “embarrassed as a Democrat” for forever having to bear witness to his party’s willingness to scare seniors, even taking on Bill Clinton during his Presidency on the issue, and insisting that Clinton stop using demagoguery and Social Security scare tactics.

What a shame that Obama and today’s Democrats don’t have the integrity or political honesty to deal with an issue that is long past ripe for true leadership required to protect seniors now, as well as retirees in the coming decades.

The good news is that the days of “the Play” working as it has in the past are now long gone. The people are much more informed on this urgent issue in a way they were not in the past, when they were more willing to trust what leaders in Washington told them.

President Obama has a short window to change course, to abandon his party’s demagogue-first policy and show true bi-partisan leadership on the issue. Failure to do so will certainly contribute to his being knocked out of the game come November, 2012.

UK Dismantling British Version of Obamacare

Over two hundred years ago, our Founders showed the British what freedom looked like. Today, they are returning the favor, making a bold move to decentralize their national healthcare apparatus just as Obama and the Democrats have horsewhipped America down the path of socialized medicine.

We guess the Brits never got the memo from Obama that government run health care saves money, as their move to put power back in the hands of doctors and their patients and move health care decisions to local bodies will create what they call an “efficiency savings” of over $30 billion.

This was no small feat for our friends across the pond, decentralization is the first major reform in British health care since the National Health Service was founded in 1948, and signals a trend toward smaller government occurring everywhere BUT in the U.S.

When your neighbors mention how much we need British-style nationalized health care, now you can ask them how things have worked out for those who have actually tried it.

What Recession? AARP Profits Booming Under Obama

While unemployment hovers around 10% and Americans have seen no financial benefit to Obama’s trillions of “stimulus” spending, the folks over at the AARP are sleeping comfortably at night, feeling snug in the face of reporting record profits and their cozy relationship with the Democrats who fashioned the health care legislation to provide them plenty of perks and special exemptions.

From the sale of health insurance and other products peddled to seniors, AARP’s royalty fees rose to $657 million last year — a record. Of that, fully 65% – or more than $427 million — came directly from United Health Group for the sale of AARP’s lucrative Medicap coverage and other related health insurance policies.

Democrats have given AARP at least four key exemptions from the health care legislation that hurt seniors while padding the bottom line of their insurance products, for example, allowing denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions and excluding executives from limits to their compensation packages.

The bottom line for America’s seniors is this: AARP builds their profits on the backs of the elderly and bargains away the rights of seniors. Under this Administration, business for the AARP sure is good when you’re selling out America’s seasoned citizens.

Click here to get our limited edition AARP (Association Against Retired Persons) bumper sticker.

Join the Fight!

60 Plus has been spreading the message on behalf of our nation’s seniors and conservative values for almost two decades, but we can’t remember a time when so much was at stake both for our families and the future of America.

Big-government liberal activists have never had more power over our lives, our freedoms, and yes, our healthcare than they do now, and as they’ve shown since the moment they took power in Washington, they plan to use it for all its worth!

Now is NOT the time to stand on the sidelines. The direction of the greatest nation on the face of the earth is in YOUR hands, and what America looks like ten, twenty, thirty years down the road will be determined by what we do TODAY!

We at 60 Plus urge you to join the fight, make your voice heard, and strengthen our hand as we battle the horrendous and misguided policies of the liberal elite. Join 60 Plus today, make a contribution, and send a message to Washington they can’t take our freedom — and the freedom of future generations — away!